With the smartphone being a huge success, companies like Samsung and Sony got the idea to make it smaller and wrist mounted, creating the Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch lines respectively. Now Microsoft has decided to muscle into the game, registering its patents with the U.S. Government this week.
The application filed with the patent office describes the wearable as a music player, phone, message device, and fitness measuring device. The watchface would be detachable from the wristband so that it can be connected to a charging port.
The features described are still speculation, and no date has been stated for release. Microsoft is up against competition from Samsung, who released their product last year, Motorola, which plans to release the Moto 360 in July, and Pebble, which has already sold over 400,000 units.
Sunglasses are one of the items that are easy to leave behind and lose, and Tzukuri Eyewear is looking to make that problem a thing of the past by using iBeacon technology. Imagine, if you will, a pair of shades with an iBeacon embedded into its frame that your iPhone connects to and is aware of. Since the iPhone can tell the distance of the beacon signal, you get a notification letting you know that you left your sunglasses behind. You can see just how far away from you they are as long as you are still in range of the iBeacon signal. Pretty cool, right?
The Tzukuri Eyewear models of sunglasses are made using 3D analysis so that they look good on more faces than the average pair. They have six designs in three sizes, each of which is handcrafted in Japan and incorporate high-quality anti-scratch, polarized lenses with 100% UV protection.
The Fitbit Force is, in my opinion, the best FitBit to date. All the power of the Fitbit One, but strapped to your wrist with a nice OLED display (unlike the Fitbit Flex.) The Fitbit One is a great fitness tracker, but it's small enough to lose easily. Having the Fitbit Force on your wrist is just super convenient. The battery lasts over a week as well. We give you a look at the package and what's included with the Fitbit Force in this episode.
You can pick up the Fitbit Force now.
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In this episode I review the SCOTTeVEST Tropiformer Jacket, a collaboration between SCOTTeVEST and ThinkGeek, and we think it holds up great for multi-seasonal travel. SCOTTeVEST is known for making Technology Enabled Clothing that allows you to carry pretty much all of your gadgets, including tablets and even a laptop if you want to, right in your jacket, thanks to the myriad of pockets they include in their garments. In the case of the Tropiformer, that's 22 pockets, including a pocket specifically for your smartphone that allows you to use the phone right through the pocket. The sleeves on the Tropiformer are also easily removed and replaced, thanks to an ingenious magnet system.
You can pick up the SCOTTeVEST Tropiformer now from ThinkGeek.
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Samsung is the first major company to release a smartwatch, revealing the Galaxy Gear during today's Unpacked event. The rumor mill was quite a ways off from what was presented today. The Gear sports a 1.63-inch 320 x 320 Super AMOLED display, with a 1.9-megapixel BSI auto-focus camera on the outside wrist strap (used to capture low-resolution images and 10-second video clips at 720p,) and a speaker on the inner wrist strap.
Galaxy Gear is also a platform unto itself, and it will have 70 apps on deck for launch, including familiar names like RunKeeper, Path, Evernote, TripIt, MyFitnessPal, eBay, and many others. That sounds great, but the device will ship with limited smartphone and tablet compatibility, working with only the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 at launch, although Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S III integration will be coming in October. With a compatible device, the Galaxy Gear will be your companion, allowing you access to Find My Device, S Voice, pedometer, call answering, and more.
The Pebble Smart Watch was a Kickstarter sensation that is still struggling to fulfill the orders of its initial backers, but that's not stopping the device from launching in Best Buy in just a few days. Initially you'll be able to get the e-ink display-powered Pebble in Jet Black at Best Buy while the company works to get the other colors into the hands of those who pre-ordered the device. Once those are fulfilled, you can expect to see other colors hit Best Buy as well. In fact, the Cherry Red model will hit store shelves in August.
Now is the time for the Pebble Smart Watch to try and get some attention on a larger stage, and Best Buy may be the place to do that. If you're unfamiliar, the Pebble connects to your iPhone or Android device and allows you to interact with it from your wrist. I have one, and it's convenient to see my messages, texts, and notifications pop-up on the Pebble without having to check my phone. I can also control apps like Music and Runkeeper right from my wrist as well. With Apple and Google expected to announce smart watches of their own sometime soon, some might argue that time is running out for Pebble to make an impact and fain traction. The Best Buy deal should help. You'll be able to order the Pebble from Best Buy for $149.95.
Read More | Pebble Best Buy Page
With this past weekends Saturday Night Live spoof, Google Glass has officially gone mainstream. As part of Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen plays Tech Correspondent Randall Meeks, and tries to explain just how revolutionary Glass can be, all while trying to work within the constraints of poor speech recognition and awkward gestures. Yes, it's a spoof, and therefore, it is very exaggerated--but that's what makes it funny. We've embedded the Hulu clip below, after the break, for your enjoyment.
Google Glass units are starting to land in the hands of developers who've signed up for the early Explorer Edition of the device, and images and videos are making their way to the Internet with the quickness. For example, Brandon Allgood posted an image of Glass unboxed to his Google+ page, showing everything it comes with. If you're curious, along with Glass, Explorers also get two different visor lenses (clear and shaded,) a carrying bag with a hard plastic area, AC adapter, and a USB cable for charging all in a Nexus-like box. Hard to believe that Google Glass is finally here, but the units are making their way out into the wild. Google says that it hopes to release Glass to the masses before the end of the year.
Read More | Google+
Google confirmed today that Google Glass units are rolling off the production line, with paying Explorer Edition members set to start receiving their devices in the coming weeks. The expectation was that the Google Glass Explorer Edition would begin to ship at the beginning of next month, and it appears that Google is right on track. The Explorer Edition of Google Glass is an early-access model that allows developers to get their hands on the device and API, readying Google Glass experiences for customers when Glass goes on sale publicly near the end of the year.
Read More | Google
We've given a bunch of gadget recommendations in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, and now it's time we mention a fantastic bag to carry them all. This year we recommend the Knomo Saxby Business Tote. We've been using it over the past few months, and it's fantastic. The Saxby has a bunch of pockets, allowing you to appropriately separate things like your iPad from your notebook, and having neither of them come in contact with your keys or pens, thanks to its 4 exterior pockets, 2 interior pouch pockets, 1 interior zip pocket, and 1 interior padded laptop pocket. The size is great, and the look is really classy too (we went with the shiny navy, but you can also get it in matte black, gray, and slate.) Knomo makes high-quality, well-made bags, and this is as fine a laptop bag as you'll find. You can pick up the Knomo Saxby on Amazon starting at $119.99.
Read More | Knomo Saxby Business Tote